The Palestinian Authority (PA) proposed on Monday a mutual ceasefire with Israel, aimed at bringing at halt to the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza that have so far killed approximately 35 Palestinians.The senior Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, voiced the PA’s willingness to find a way out of the current cycle of violence, stating, “We are seeking an assurance from a third party to establish a state of calm in the area.”
In an interview with the Voice of Palestine, Erekat maintained that “there should be an immediate intervention on the part of the international community, especially the Quartet committee, to halt the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip”.
Erekat confirmed that the EU is exerting preparatory efforts to contain the volatile situation in Gaza, with the EU’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, being expected to visit the region shortly.
Solana would look into a possible renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire, reached last November, Erekat revealed.
Solana’s visit was intended to discuss a possible expansion of the EU monitoring of the Rafah crossing terminal, due to terminate this month. The crossing has currently been closed for one week.
In other news, the Israeli cabinet decided on Sunday that its strikes would involve the Islamic Jihad group. This policy was implemented as of Monday afternoon when an Israeli warplane hit a car in northern Gaza, killing four members of the organization.
Yesterday, missiles fired from an Israeli warplane landed on a family gathering hall in Gaza city, killing seven members of senior Hamas leader and MP Khalil Alhaiya’s family, in addition to two bystanders.
The two resistance groups vowed to continue to fire homemade shells fire on Israeli towns, despite the recent round of shelling and air strikes.
Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza last week resumed firing homemade shells on adjacent Israeli towns, lightly wounding a small number of Israelis and causing some damage to properties and open fields, particularly in the town of Sderot.